|Publication number||US7954062 B2|
|Application number||US 10/905,403|
|Publication date||May 31, 2011|
|Filing date||Jan 3, 2005|
|Priority date||Jan 3, 2005|
|Also published as||US20060150105|
|Publication number||10905403, 905403, US 7954062 B2, US 7954062B2, US-B2-7954062, US7954062 B2, US7954062B2|
|Inventors||Marion S. Bright, Scott D. Burkhard, Rahul Jindani, Gregory L. McKee, Penny J. Peachey-Kountz, James D. Scott|
|Original Assignee||International Business Machines Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (99), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (2), Classifications (12), Legal Events (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
1. Field of the Invention
The embodiments of the invention generally relate to computer diagnostic systems and methods, and more particularly to multi-system software/application failure diagnostic systems and methods.
2. Description of the Related Art
Conventionally, when computer software applications are running across multiple systems, one of the problems associated with identifying software malfunctions is that there are generally no readily available tools that can identify, in a cross-platform application process, if jobs (i.e., application protocols) have completed or failed without logging into each individual system and checking on the status of the protocols. Generally, support personnel have to logon to multiple platforms and research job logs and console messages once a problem is realized in order to determine the status of the application, thereby losing valuable software running time. As computer technology continues to develop into more of a real-time and on-demand environment, tools capable of displaying a view of any dependent job stream and status board relating to the processing of the application would be greatly beneficial.
Tivoli®, which is available from International Business Machines, Armonk, N.Y., USA, is a software/application monitoring tool. However, while Tivoli® is beneficial for the purpose it was designed for, it is generally designed to log job failures and alerts once the failures occur. Therefore, there remains a need for a software/application diagnostic tool, which forecasts dependent job time completion or a status view so a user can determine if jobs (i.e., application protocols) are being completed on time, and for failures that do occur, there is a need for a system and method that not only provides an alert, but which also provides a realistic forecast of when all processing will be completed.
In view of the foregoing, an embodiment of the invention provides a method of monitoring a plurality of applications residing on a plurality of computer systems within a network and a program storage device implementing the method, wherein the method comprises placing a plurality of applications and application functions capable of being monitored in a rules driven table; sending an output of one of the application functions selected for monitoring via a messaging service to a monitoring system; analyzing the output to determine a functional status of the application; and notifying a user of the functional status via a user interface. The method further comprises determining a progress of an order input into the plurality of computer systems within the network. Additionally, in the placing process, the rules driven table comprises an application component table. Moreover, the method comprises predicting when a running time of an application will be completed prior to completion of the application running time. In the notifying process, the user interface comprises a single status board user interface. Also, the analyzing process further comprises determining whether the application functions fail when the applications are running; diagnosing a cause of failure of the application functions; and indicating the cause of failure to the user. The method further comprises reconciliating information across processes supporting the applications and sending alerts to the user interface of errors found in the processes.
Another aspect of the invention provides a method of diagnosing failures in a computer system, wherein the method comprises monitoring a plurality of applications and application functions residing in an application component table; sending an output of a selected application function to a monitoring system; determining a functional status of the application based on the output; and notifying a user of the functional status via a single status board user interface, wherein in the monitoring process, the application component table comprises a rules driven table. The method further comprises predicting when a running time of an application will be completed prior to completion of the application running time. The determining process further comprises determining whether the application functions fail when the applications are running; diagnosing a cause of failure of the application functions; and indicating the cause of failure to the user. Additionally, the method further comprises reconciliating information across processes supporting the applications and sending alerts to the single status board user interface of errors found in the processes.
Another embodiment of the invention provides a computer monitoring system comprising an application component table comprising a plurality of applications and application functions, wherein the applications comprise data identifying a functional status of the applications; a processor adapted to analyze the functional status of the applications based on the data; and a single status board user interface adapted to display the functional status of the applications, wherein the application component table comprises a rules driven table, wherein the processor is adapted to predict when a running time of an application will be completed prior to completion of the application running time. The processor further comprises computer logic circuitry adapted to determine whether the application functions fail when the applications are running; diagnose a cause of failure of the application functions; and indicate the cause of failure to a user. Moreover, the processor further comprises computer logic circuitry adapted to reconciliate information across processes supporting the applications. The computer monitoring system further comprises computer logic circuitry adapted to send alerts to the single status board user interface of errors found in the processes.
The embodiments of the invention achieve several advantages. For example, by implementing the embodiments of the invention, from a single interface, one could quickly discern the status of the application, perform problem determination and resolution, perform reconciliation across processes, and predict the completion times of linked processes. In addition, the ASBMS can be set up to monitor actual time against planned time and when the delta exceeds a predetermined target, alerts can be triggered to pagers, E-mails and Help Desks. The alert can contain pertinent information to assist in quick resolution of the issue.
In addition, since many critical applications currently require real time supervision by operations to ensure timely job completion, the embodiments of the invention provide significant opportunities for labor savings by having all the processing statistics stored centrally within the ASBMS; thus, the application can be mitigated quickly by the user. Without the ASBMS, each application owner would be responsible for analyzing their processing statistics without regard to its effects on the enterprise. Moreover, the embodiments of the invention (1) provide the ability to predict completion times of application steps; (2) provide the ability to log critical run statistics for reconciliation across processes; (3) present opportunities for process optimization; and (4) results in resource reduction due to the ease of use in obtaining the critical data and timely alerts of processing issues.
These and other aspects of the embodiments of the invention will be better appreciated and understood when considered in conjunction with the following description and the accompanying drawings. It should be understood, however, that the following descriptions, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention and numerous specific details thereof, are given by way of illustration and not of limitation. Many changes and modifications may be made within the scope of the embodiments of the invention without departing from the spirit thereof, and the embodiments of the invention include all such modifications.
The embodiments of the invention will be better understood from the following detailed description with reference to the drawings, in which:
The embodiments of the invention and the various features and advantageous details thereof are explained more fully with reference to the non-limiting embodiments that are illustrated in the accompanying drawings and detailed in the following description. It should be noted that the features illustrated in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. Descriptions of well-known components and processing techniques are omitted so as to not unnecessarily obscure the embodiments of the invention. The examples used herein are intended merely to facilitate an understanding of ways in which the embodiments of the invention may be practiced and to further enable those of skill in the art to practice the embodiments of the invention. Accordingly, the examples should not be construed as limiting the scope of the embodiments of the invention.
As mentioned, there remains a need for a software/application diagnostic tool, which forecasts dependent job time completion or a status view so a user can determine if jobs (i.e., application protocols) are being completed on time, and for failures that do occur, there is a need for a system that not only provides an alert, but which also provides a realistic forecast of when all processing will be completed. The embodiments of the invention address these needs by providing a system and method for predicting, monitoring, and mitigating multi-system software failures with a forecaster to the end of job streams, and which automatically estimates job completion times. Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to
Generally, the embodiments of the invention provide a system and method of monitoring application processes running on multiple platforms throughout the enterprise (i.e., business network) by providing a single application status board mitigation system (ASBMS) 100 that presents the status of the application, completion time estimates of linked processes of the application, alerts users of anomalies as well as output data available for troubleshooting, reconciliation and optimization, and historical trend analysis.
The ASBMS 100 further comprises a user interface 114, which may be embodied as an internet web portal 112 or an intranet web portal 116 to support the ASBMS configuration and metadata and to provide the customer support personnel (user/administrator) access to the application status and related details. Each application and application function to be monitored is defined in a rules driven table 111.
The rules driven table 111 comprises information such as when the application function is to be started, the estimated duration that the application function should take, and a variable percentage of how long the ASBMS server 106 should wait before flagging the application function as not successful, and whether or not to send an immediate alert to support for the application function. When an application function is invoked, the ASBMS agent 104 sends an output via the communications medium 103 to the primary ASBMS task processor 108, which may be embodied as an input daemon. The ASBMS task processor 108 then analyzes the output to determine if the application function was successful or not. If the application function is not successful, then the ASBMS task processor 108 sends an alert to a task manager 110 and a function flag is set to “not successful”. The task processor 108 services the external requests placed on the ASBMS 100, converts the request into an internal message, and passes the message to the task manager 110 for processing. The task manager 110 analyzes the message and schedules the appropriate method to service the request.
The ASBMS task processor 108 includes ASBMS agent messages 113, which include application data packets associated with the messages. The task processor 108 further includes alert trigger mechanisms 115 adapted to analyze information and configured for sending out various standard alerts for all applications participating in the ASBMS 100. For example, the alert triggers 115 may send alerts pertaining to application failure, schedule requirements, missing components, etc. Additionally, the task processor 108 includes a set of user interface requests 117, which accommodates requests from users through the user interface 114.
Moreover, the ASBMS server 106 includes computer logic (not shown) adapted to provide time completion information in order to predict or forecast the completion of job streams. Conversely, if the application function is successful, the function flag is set for the application function indicating that the process run was “successful”. The ASBMS 100 also includes a predefined set of codes indicating the status of an application. Examples of the various states of an application are: (a) “success”—process completed, no action required; (b) “error”—process did not complete, further action required; and (c) “warning”—process completed but messages should be reviewed. The ASBMS 100 depicts the status with meaningful icons on a computer screen. For example, an application with errors could be flagged with a red traffic light, etc. Furthermore, all rules and configuration parameters are maintained in the rules driven table 111. Additionally, the ASBMS application program interface (API) 114 displays the status nodes 151 with downstream affects as shown in
The ASBMS 100 is embodied as an intranet-based system which addresses the need for one-stop access to review the status of application processes running for various applications across multiple platforms. By presenting support personnel (users) with a screen that displays, by application, whether or not a particular process ran successfully, the support personnel (user) can quickly determine where the problems lie and focus directly on problems instead of logging onto various systems and checking various logs not knowing whether or not a problem occurred.
All processes monitored by the ASBMS 100 report the status and key information by communicating with the ASBMS agent 104. The ASBMS agent API 114 takes the application request and formats it into an application data packet and sends the message to the ASBMS server 106 which is handled by the application task processor 108. By collecting this type of information, the ASBMS 100 is able to consolidate the processes into a single display system. As such, the system 100 provided by an embodiment of the invention increases the productivity or support personnel and also reduces application downtime.
Moreover, the customer support personnel (user) 112 are also able to click on the application function to see details of the last log received from the execution of the application function. The user 112 clicks icons on the navigation screen to click on the application function.
In the screen shot of
Again, with regard to
Also, administrators 116 are able to add/delete/modify scheduled timeframes for the functions to execute. This is accomplished by using timeframes and other key information about the application, which are configured in the ASBMS 100 by the system administrator 116. This information is stored at the gate level of the application. For example, in monitoring electronic ASN, timeframes would be established for each business partner receiving the ASN, as illustrated in the ASN acknowledgement screen shot of
In addition, the ASBMS application program interface 114 displays results that need to be compared for accuracy based on the configuration. Thus, the ASBMS 100 allows for reconciling across processes. In a typical network application such as that required in supporting a B2B hub there are many data extraction and load processes. The results from each extract are compared with the results of the corresponding load process. Within the ASBMS 100, these processes are represented as various gates within the application. The GUI 150 allows the user a glance to compare record counts from each process. Also, record counts could be compared systematically to gates within the process that are linked in this manner and the discrepancies are highlighted.
The ASBMS 100 monitors applications throughout the enterprise by providing a single status board that shows the status of the processes (for example, Proc. A-Proc. D in
Many types of applications could be used according to the embodiments of the invention. For example, a common type of application could include traditional networked applications that have many data feeds, organizations, triggers, and processes that are critical to the business and that are time sensitive and which may affect customer perception and ultimately customer satisfaction; i.e., customer order commit cycle time or on-time delivery to the customer. In the first case, the ASBMS 100 not only monitors the order commit process itself, but also the order commit dependencies, such as the timely execution of a planning engine and the subsequent loading of supply lines to the available-to-promise application. The ASBMS 100 accomplishes this by defining each process as a gate within the application in the ASBMS 100. A gate could also be a complex application comprised of many gates. The ASBMS agents 104 report the processing statistics to the ASBMS 100 thus allowing the user to monitor the application's overall status.
Run times and Record Counts for Processes in FIG. 5
Process Names (for
Linked Process for
Master Data Load)
Load Parts List
Load Wafer Data
The ASBMS 100 (of
A more elaborate use of the ASBMS 100 includes serving as a tool to monitor and tracking the life cycle of a typical business object such as sales orders, invoices, advance ship notifications, and other customer deliverables. In addition, the ASBMS 100 plays an important role in manufacturing processes such as monitoring/comparing tool performance; i.e., tool availability, output, and quality. For example,
Moreover, the method comprises predicting when a running time of an application will be completed prior to completion of the application running time. In the notifying process (507), the user interface 114 comprises a single status board user interface. Also, the analyzing process (505) further comprises determining whether the application functions fail when the applications are running; diagnosing a cause of failure of the application functions; and indicating the cause of failure to the user. The method further comprises reconciliating information across processes supporting the applications and sending alerts to the user interface of errors found in the processes.
A representative hardware environment for practicing the embodiments of the invention is depicted in
The embodiments of the invention achieve several advantages. For example, by implementing the embodiments of the invention, from a single interface, one could quickly discern the status of the application, perform problem determination and resolution, perform reconciliation across processes, and predict the completion times of linked processes. In addition, the ASBMS 100 can be set up to monitor actual time against planned time and when the delta exceeds a predetermined target, alerts can be triggered to pagers, E-mails and Help Desks. The alert can contain pertinent information to assist in quick resolution of the issue.
In addition, since many critical applications currently require real time supervision by operations to ensure timely job completion, the embodiments of the invention provide significant opportunities for labor savings by having all the processing statistics stored centrally within the ASBMS 100; thus, the application can be mitigated quickly by the user 112. Without the ASBMS 100, each application owner would be responsible for analyzing their processing statistics without regard to its effects on the enterprise. Moreover, the embodiments of the invention (1) provide the ability to predict completion times of application steps; (2) provide the ability to log critical run statistics for reconciliation across processes; (3) present opportunities for process optimization; and (4) results in resource reduction due to the ease of use in obtaining the critical data and timely alerts of processing issues.
The foregoing description of the specific embodiments will so fully reveal the general nature of the invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily modify and/or adapt for various applications such specific embodiments without departing from the generic concept, and, therefore, such adaptations and modifications should and are intended to be comprehended within the meaning and range of equivalents of the disclosed embodiments. It is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation. Therefore, while the invention has been described in terms of preferred embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the embodiments of the invention can be practiced with modification within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||715/772, 714/46, 715/736, 714/48, 700/83|
|Cooperative Classification||G06F11/3447, G06F2201/88, G06F11/0715, G06F11/0751|
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|Jan 3, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION, NEW Y
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BRIGHT, MARION S.;BURKHARD, SCOTT D.;JINDANI, RAHUL;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:015505/0057;SIGNING DATES FROM 20041208 TO 20041215
Owner name: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION, NEW Y
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:BRIGHT, MARION S.;BURKHARD, SCOTT D.;JINDANI, RAHUL;AND OTHERS;SIGNING DATES FROM 20041208 TO 20041215;REEL/FRAME:015505/0057
|Jan 9, 2015||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
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